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You Should Run R On Your Computer: Not just for stats, but to know what all the excitement is about


R-on-my-macR” is a freely available language for interacting with your computer that is designed for a wide variety of functions. It is most frequently associated with statistical computing and graphics. R runs on a wide variety of systems, including Mac, Windows, Linux and Unix.

Every analyst who deals with data should have a copy of R and be familiar with it. And every technologist with a desire to track the greatest technologies available should run it as well so you know what the buzz is all about.

Here are some tips to get you up and running fast:

There is a comprehensive archive of all things R related, called “CRAN” for Comprehensive R Archive Network.  Visit CRAN here: http://cran.us.r-project.org/

You will immediately see links to Linux, Mac and Windows versions of R. Download and install the one for your system.

That’s it. See how easy that was. Now you have R running on your system.  Open it, and look around. One of the greatest things about R is the help functionality. Make that the first menu item you click on.  The powerful guidance in the help section can walk you through an introduction to R and have you up and working with real world problems in no time at all.

In coming posts we will provide more tips, including how to install new “packages” to R to expand its functionality.


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More Stories By Bob Gourley

Bob Gourley, former CTO of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), is Founder and CTO of Crucial Point LLC, a technology research and advisory firm providing fact based technology reviews in support of venture capital, private equity and emerging technology firms. He has extensive industry experience in intelligence and security and was awarded an intelligence community meritorious achievement award by AFCEA in 2008, and has also been recognized as an Infoworld Top 25 CTO and as one of the most fascinating communicators in Government IT by GovFresh.